Forgive the expression but this Sunday the Oakland Raiders must put the fear of God in Tim Tebow. That is the formula that worked against Kyle Orton on the Monday Night season opener. That is the formula that will deliver another sweep of the Broncos.
When the Raiders last saw Tebow they didn’t quite know what to expect. The rookie made a couple big plays but in the end it was Oakland that dominated. One of those plays was typical Tebow in which he was unable to execute a draw play yet somehow turned it into a dash to pay dirt. Now that there is more tape on Tebow the Raiders should be more prepared for his unorthodox style of play.
Getting pressure on Tebow has proven to be the best remedy to stop the Broncos. With an inconsistent running game, Denver simply doesn’t have many weapons should they need to rely on the pass. Hopefully Rod Woodson will encourage his DBs to take more risks. With each hapless floater Tebow tosses the Oakland secondary will have ample opportunities to make plays.
Keeping Tebow scrambling around like a frightened cat is crucial. Unable to make plays from the pocket, more often than not Tebow finds himself running like mad to extend plays. This is where the Raiders must do the most damage. As Detroit proved last week, constant pressure on Tebow creates a certain type of chaos that benefits the defense.
But that type of situation is not mutually exclusive to Tebow. The Raiders showed the world that very principle by harassing Orton all night long at the season’s start. However with Tebow it is even more crucial that the Raiders remove his desire to dance around in the pocket.
By forcing the former Gator to stand in the pocket and take shots downfield the Raiders will have done their job. Of course that also implies that they’ll have effectively stopped the run as well. Tebow plays a big role in Denver’s ground game. Again, this is precisely why the Silver and Black must attack all afternoon long. The more the Broncos are forced to throw, the greater Oakland’s chance of victory increases.
Thus far the defensive line has been an inconsistent unit. One game they are unstoppable, the next they’re hardly present. Not having Matt Shaughnessy looms large as he was among the most active D-linemen the last time the Raiders clashed with the Broncos. Still, you’d think the likes of Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly and Lamarr Houston to be able to keep the pressure on Tebow.
There is also another weapon at Chuck Bresnahan’s disposal. Among the many weaknesses in Tebow’s game is his total inability to handle blitzes. If Bresnahan gets creative with athletes like Tvyon Branch, Rolando McClain, Michael Huff and Aaron Curry then it will be a long afternoon for Tebow. All that Raider speed and athleticism will surely take Tebow out of his game and remove the Broncos from getting into contention if the wide open AFC West.